Wednesday, December 30, 2009

been so long...

I will start this blog off by saying that I have not skied for a total of 13 years. That to me sounds like an awfully long time. In that amount of time, a child was born, become a teenager, and is starting their first year in high school!

I skied incredible amounts up until grade 7. That was right around the time when skiing was not considered 'cool' anymore and I learned how to snowboard. I enjoyed snowboarding but was nowhere near as adventurous as I was on skis. Eventually, I just stopped going up the mountain all together. I don't think I have snowboarded in 4 years.

Peter's mom and dad invited us up to Blackcomb on Monday along with Pete's sister, husband, and 2 rock star skiing children (5 and 7 years old). I was able to borrow some downhill gear from someone and and was off to the races. I was really excited and nervous that I would totally forget how to ski and fall flat on my face.

To my surprise, I pretty much got the hang of it immediately after stepping off the very first chair lift. I was shocked and horrified by how well I was (or thought) I was doing. I managed not to fall once! I also remember being pretty cold most of the time while I boarded but I was able to keep quite warm. It was also a spectacular day without a cloud in the sky. I am super stoked to have found skiing again and can't wait until I can afford to get me a set of my own!!! Bring on the fun!

Peter and I are heading up to Seattle tomorrow morning. We are going to see a concert at the Moore Theater and through a hook up we were able to get a room at the Fairmont. The Fairmont is a far stretch from our usual Motel 6, so I am excited. We are going to see the band Cake. I don't know if anyone remembers them but they had that hit "I want a girl with a short skirt and a loooooooooooooooooooong jacket". Before I started dating Peter I had never heard any of their other music. He has a bunch of their CD's and they have some pretty awesome stuff. We always listen to it on road trips. Here is a song that is a kick ass running song for your IPODS.

New Years Day will see all of us Gildersleeves together for our annual Polar Bear Swim and bonfire on the beach! I can't wait...

See you in the trails!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas and beyond

Powell River was a great time but the festivities were far from over! We celebrated Christmas in P.R on the evening of the 23rd. We had a fabulous dinner followed by an evening of gift unwrapping. It really was a treat getting to spend 4 nights with my Mom and Jim.

We departed on the 24th and with a hop, skip, and 2 ferry rides later we were back in North Vancouver. I managed to get an hour run in and quickly and then we darted off to Peter's sisters house. They have a Christmas Eve tradition that involves eating Lobster! I watched Peter (from a distance) grab the live suckers as they struggled to resist being taken into the dark abyss of the boiling pot of water. Fifteen minutes later, we were digging in and enjoying a delicious supper. That was followed by a trip over to my Uncle John's for drinks and a little balderdash. The best word of the night was Flibbertigibbet...anyone know that one?

The next morning Peter and I managed to sleep in. Well, technically it wasn't a sleep in at all because of how late we went to bed but normally 9:30am would be a sleep in. Normally we would cook up something special but because we were away and had no time to shop, we settled for toast and yogurt. We had a great time opening gifts. I was spoiled once again and I now have a lifetime supply of running gloves!

Christmas day was a gloriously sunny day and there was no better way to spend it than hiking with Peter and my Dad. We decided to hike up grouse to the top of Dam Mountain. The view was magical and it was amazingly warm. Perfect.

Peter and I came home and wrapped gifts for all his family and then went over to his sisters house again for dinner. His nieces and nephews all looked so good in their Christmas formal outfits. Another great evening with great people. I tried my first bite of Christmas pudding! Conclusion: not too shabby. It was over to my Aunt Julie's for desert and Gilder Games. This year we ended up playing a new game called Catch Phrase. It was pretty hysterical as we all got quite into it. We left around 1pm and watched the second to last episode of the first season of Dexter. We only have the season finale to go and I am dying in suspense. I can't remember the last time I stayed up so late so many nights in a row. I'm always dead tired at 8:30pm and if I ride it out to about 10pm I always manage to get a second wind.

Today, I went for my longest run since MMTR50. It was 20km and took about an hour and 50 minutes. I felt no pain, which makes me one extremely happy girl!

Alright, I am off, time to clean the house and go by some food! Sorry for the lack of pictures, my camera is dead and I need to charge the batteries.

See you in the trails.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Delicious Apple Muffins

The last time I was in Powell River I made the best blueberry muffins. I found the recipe in one of my dad's cooking magazines. I searched high and low through all of them but I came up short. However, I was found myself still longing to bake something warm and delicious. Where do you go when you want something you know will taste good...the food network website (well that is where I go!). If you are interested in the recipe for Apple Muffins , just click away!

Today, I also managed to get out for a 30 minute tempo run. I don't know exactly how it turned into one but Peter and I just started and the pace soon quickened. I decided that since the run was going to be a shorter one, I would forgo the walk portion of the walk/run. The ITB felt great!

Alright, back to Dexter!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Powell River Adventures

It wouldnt be an annual Christmas trip to Powell River without some kind of excitement and adventure.

Peter and I picked my brother up in Lions Bay just before 1pm on Sunday afternoon. We boarded the 1:20 ferry to Langdale. It was raining, and we only visited the top deck breifly, to feel adventerous. We had checked the ferry schedule and knew that we had to get to the next Ferry for a 3:20 sailing. We loaded off the Langdale ferry at 2:15pm, which gave us a scant hour and 5 minutes to catch the next one.

Unfortunetly but not surprisingly, we got stuck behind ferry traffic, even after taking the 'short cut'. We finally entered a passing lane and went by a few cars, until the road went back into single lane traffic with no opportunity to pass. We were stuck behind 2 cars who were barely holding the limit. We were all clearly headed to the ferry and we knew that at the speed the lead car was driving, no one was going to make it.

We arrived there exactly at 3:20 with a small line of cars. Hmm...we thought, maybe the ferry was late. We asked the ferry traffic controller what time the ferry was at and he said "4:25". We had been looking at the wrong ferry schedule, mistaking the powell river ferry from Saltry Bay for Earls Cove on the Sunshine Coast side. We felt pretty stupid, not only for our mistake but for all the cursing of the vehicles we had in front of us!

That night we settled in for a lovely Roast my step dad, Jim, had cooked up. It felt great to be back here.

The next day Peter and I went for our traditional run around Inland Lake. We felt as though we were running through the lake because the whole thing was like a giant puddle. Once we embraced it however, it became quite the playful adventure. Running, yelling and screaming through puddles. I have been instructed by Jennifer Keefer, my Physiotherapist at Village Physio, to get back into running through a walk run program (5 min run, 30 sec walk). It took me a while to embrace it, but now I actually look forward to that 30 second walk break. Hey, I'll enjoy it while I can! We finished the 13km in the same time as last year, so the walk breaks can't be such a bad thing.

That afternoon found us in relaxation mode, watching the first season (disc 1) of Dexter on DVD. Gary and Tamsin haven't stopped talking about this show since they first rented the DVD's and Peter and I thought this 4 day vacation would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go. I must say, it is a pretty awesome show. We have only watched the first Disc and there are 3 more to go (12 more episodes)!!!

We made Fajitas over at my Mom's house and retired for the evening watching another episode of Dexter. Jim showed Peter a map of the Powell River trail system last night. He studied it well and found a great run for us to do only a short drive from our house.

The next morning we headed off and drove up a logging road and parked right infront of the trail head. It was clear that it had lightly snowed the night before as there were snow dustings on the trees. It was beautiful. The trails were magnificant and ever so plush. It was like running on pillows. We passed by a few smaller lakes and one that was simply stunning. This one had a narrow wooden ramp leading you to a dock that was perched up from te water. I wished then that I had brought my camera to have shown you all, but for now, it will remain an intmate image in my brain. This run was just under an hour and a half, my longest one to date since MMTR50!

It's funny, it was only 6 or 7 weeks ago that I ran a 50 miler that took me over 8 and a half hours to complete. Now, an hour and a half seems long! The beginning of the season always feels this way.

We have fresh clams and oysters (cooked, not raw)on the menu tonight, which we hand picked ourselves off the beach in Okeover at 11:30 pm on Sunday night! That's right, Peter, myself, my brother and step-dad, put on our rain gear, grabbed the shovels and buckets, and went 'clamming'. Peter's new Petzl headlamp guided the way that night. If you are not careful, you might mistake it as a motor vehicles high beams, it's that powerful.

Alright, time to go finish some last minute shopping, while the boys are out golfing. Golfing in December, who knew? Last year, everything was covered in snow. Gotta love the weather gods!

See you in the trails!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Back....again....did I say that already?

I hope I am not speaking to soon when I say that I AM BACK BABY!!!!!!

....and it feels sooooo good!

My boyfriend Peter just walked over and laughed at me because apparently I have written about being "back" a million times. He made me scroll back through and I called bullshit, and saw nothing. The only thing I said I was "back" about was coming back to training after taking 2 weeks off after Mountain Masochist.

So, with that said, I will continue...

I ran Tuesday for 40 minutes pain free....woohoo, Wednesday 35 min pain free, and today for 55 pain free. I should probably take a day off running but man it just feels so dam good. And the best part, Peter and I have been going in the dark w/ our headlamps (it gets dark at 4:30pm). It feels like we are all alone in our forest trails but there have been a couple other headlamp flashing runners.

Anywho, I am heading to Powell River to visit the parents on Sunday until Thursday. Powell River is a great place with a wide variety of places to run. We usually run around Inland Lake which is 13km around and dead flat. Last year it was covered in snow which made for a fun time. BC Bike race is heading over there next year for one of their stages. Apparently they have amazing mountain bike trails that I have never seen or heard of. Looks like we have some exploring to do because wherever there are mountain bike trails, there are killer running trails.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all enjoy time with family and friends, good food, and a whole lot of running (with all that extra time)!

See you in the trails!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dutch Christmas...

I am very proud to be Dutch. When I was a little girl, I used to tell everyone that I was. Then I realized I was only half Dutch, until I found out I was really only 1/4 Dutch. In the end, I guess I am not that Dutch...

I have been celebrating Dutch Christmas for over 25 years! Every year my Gildersleeve family comes together for one monstrous day of fun, good food, and a lot of laughs. I have 7 aunts and uncles, 18 cousins, and lot's of significant others. My uncle John and his beautiful wife Carolynn always host the party and I am blown away every time. The food is to die for, tex mex fritatta, stratta, proscuitto wrapped poached eggs, land of knods, delicious chutneys and cheeses, fruit platters, salads, ceciles, brakka, and it wouldn't be a Gildersleeve event without uncles Mike's famous brownies.

How do we stay so fit after eating all these glorious goodies, with the Gilder Games of course. I come from a very athletic (and tall) family and my uncle rented out the Sutherland High School Gymnasium for us to run around in. Volleyball was the game of choice today and with my brother as well as 5 uncles/cousins being over 6'4, I was a little nervous. In the end, it was a lot of fun and we even managed to get in 2 great games of Basketball.

As some of you know I played basketball for Capilano College. I consider myself retired as I haven't played in over 3 years but it felt great to shoot the ball again. My shot came back effortlessly and I was knocking down 3's like it was nobody's business. AND...My ITB didn't hurt at all after all the running/sprinting!!!

My Oma used to write the Christmas Letter from Sinter Claus and Black Peter. She died a few years ago now and my brother and cousin Jordan have picked up where she left off. This letter is a rhymed poem and each family member gets mentioned in regards to what they have been up to over the year. It's creative and fun and I always look forward to hearing it.

Ping pong is a large tradition in this family. My Opa and Oma had a ping pong table in their apartment and as kids we would always end up playing it for hours. My brother has since acquired a table and he brought it all the way over from Lions Bay in the back of his truck. They set it up in the back yard and it was played all day long. However, the only pong I played last night was Beer Pong in - (minus) degree weather.

I was ready to brave the elements, decked out in a toque, gloves, scarf, and down jacket. It was a blast and with frost on the table, my cousins invented beer curling. You can even use the paddle as a broom!!! HURRY HARD!!!!

Anywho, thanks again John and Carolynn for once again hosting such a wonderful day of fun. I'll be posting pictures soon. I have a bad habit of not bringing a camera wherever I go!!!

See you in the trails!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Never fear, FAT DOG 100 is here.

The Western States lottery has come and gone...

If you were one of the million runner's to apply and were not selected, consider yourself lucky! Now you can attempt the most spectacular 100 mile event in Canada!

FAT DOG 100 mile, 100km, and relay. Put this race on your calender for 2010. It's going to be epic, trust me, I have run much of the course. If I wasn't doing Western States myself I would have done it 100%.

I will be there volunteering at the best aid station known to man. It will be a 24 hour dance party and I promise the station will lift you up and brighten up your spirits no matter what state you are in!

Hope to see you there!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ITB syndrome...WHAT!

The last few weeks have proven to be a little difficult in a good way and bad way.

BAD: I have been suffering from a bit of IT Band syndrome ever since Mountain Masochist. What went from a fun 2 weeks break from running, has turned into a month...sort of.

I had been seeking treatment from Dr. Paul Wiggins and Dr. Jenn Turner and they were making my IT feel amazing after every session. Then of course like anyone else would, I tried running the next day. The run always felt wonderful except for maybe the last 5 minutes, where I could only slightly feel an inkling of what could be discomfort. Not enough to keep me from running the next day! Of course, that next run always felt like crap and I'd end up turning around after 20 minutes. So, I would go back to get treatment and then again, the next days run felt awesome, but the run following that one would not.

It took me a couple weeks to realize that this cycle of treatment, run, treatment was not going to work. Seeing as how I have no real racing goals until February, I have convinced myself not to run until it is better. I have spent the last week or so, hiking, yoga, strength training and snowshoeing. I am not to sure if hiking is any better for the old ITB but it honestly keeps me sane. So, I ask myself sometimes, would it be better to just swim and bike indoors and go insane, or keep my sanity and enjoy the great outdoors? The weather has been crazy beautiful and all I want to do is go play in it, and play I have. Yes, the first choice would probably heel my injury quicker, but the latter brings my life so much satisfaction.

This week I am trying to bite the bullet (since last week I had a bit more fun). I will roll on my foam roller frivolously and get as much ART as possible. I have dedicated 2 hours of biking tonight while I watch the biggest Loser Finale!!! O, I am such a dork!

See you in the trails...walking for now, but running soon I hope!